NATO soldiers sing Ukrainian ‘Carol of the Bells’ in show of Christmas solidarity

19 December 2022, 16:29

Choir of NATO soldiers sing ‘Carol of the Bells’
Choir of NATO soldiers sing ‘Carol of the Bells’. Picture: NATO / Twitter

By Kyle Macdonald

A Christmas carol for 2022 geopolitics, as soldiers of the North Atlantic Alliance sing a Ukrainian carol for a musical message this Christmas.

A snow-filled forest in the Baltic county of Latvia has been filled with seasonal music. But this Christmas, it was not by church choirs in scarlet robes, but rather soldiers in a different sort of uniform.

The world and geopolitics are very different this Christmas, 10 months after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, and months of war on the continent of Europe and the doorstep of the NATO military alliance.

This Christmas, a group of soldiers from NATO wanted to send a message, and in a show of solidarity with the Ukrainian people, they turned to one of the country’s greatest carols.

The singers in the video (watch below) came from different nations in the alliance.

Read more: UK choir records powerful new Ukrainian choral work in response to Russia’s invasion

NATO send their seasons greetings with choir performance in Latvia

Carol of the Bells’ was written by Ukrainian composer, Mykola Leontovych, with lyrics by Peter J. Wilhousky. It’s a much-loved carol during the festive season, but in 2022 has taken on a more powerful resonance.

Earlier this month, a Kyiv children’s choir sang it in New York’s Grand Central Station, as they embarked on a US tour. It feels this carol and this year’s Christmas season will be linked in a powerful way.

The carol is based on a four-note ostinato, or repeated phase, in 3/4 time signature, with the rhythm of pealing bells represented in the music.

“Season’s greetings from all of us at NATO,” the alliance captioned the video, adding, “Here’s to a safe new year”.

One tweeter wrote in reply: “The fact that this is an old Ukrainian tune is not lost on us. Thank you.”